A story about quantum, adventure and bravery, inspired by game Outer Wilds.
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(You may click on the hyperlinks for details about the scientific facts.)
- Reflector system, ready
- Energy system, ready
- Control system, ready
- Receiver terminal, ready
- Final count: Three, Two, One, Start
As the electricity flows through the giant bowl-shaped detector, the movement of the mechanical arm of the machine rolled up the dust storm. In the next second, a weak pulse signal appeared on the main display screen, and an outburst of applause broke out in the control center. This is the first and largest Hawking Radiation Detector produced and built by humans after the method to detect Hawking radiation is found. There are two similar machines standing in the United States and Germany respectively.
-Wait, what happens to the detector?
A scream sounded in the control room. Everyone turned to the big screen and saw that the original random dots formed by noise gradually turned into steady pulses on the screen.
-Check the circuit equipment, the angle of the reflecting screen, and various indicators of the instrument.
The chief engineer immediately ordered the investigation. At the same time, hawking radiation detectors in the United States and Britain reported similar situations through global satellites.
The anomaly of hawking radiation detectors in various countries has attracted the attention of the scientific community. The information from all parties is summarized.
-LIGO, located in Livingston, Louisiana, has just detected the most obvious gravitational wave so far, from the HR 6819 three-star system 3000 light-years away from the earth.
-At the same time, Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour has seen huge waves and abnormal sea-level fluctuations.
As expected, something unusual has happened.
Hong Kong SAR
-We just picked up an unidentified object that fell into the sea, Sir.
Lying on the ground, the UFO has severe deformation caused by severe friction when crossing the atmosphere. However, the huge impact force and the extreme temperature still failed to destroy the shell made of rare metals which are never seen on earth, leaving the internal structure intact.
Inside the UFO, there is a well-protected chip similar to the trapped ion quantum computers. The chip seems to make use of the atomic version to encode information.
Thanks to the study of quantum memory ten years ago, scientists reacted quickly to the storage principle of the chip. They proposed the conjecture that the light quantum memory in this chip also records the state of light in the atomic cloud. Once the atom in the chip absorbs light, the atom retains all the information of the light quantum. Meanwhile, if their conjecture is true, this quantum storage method makes the same hardware structure can realize exponential growth of information storage due to the superposition of quantum states. The small chip which can be held in one's hand might contain millions of bits of information.
Where did this UFO come from? How did it get to the earth? Why did the gravitational wave detector fail because of its presence? What is the connection between it and the Three-star system detected by LIGO? All the answers may be hidden in this small chip.
The work of deciphering began.
It took 20 years to gather the information received by mankind and finally crack the information.
Inside the chip, it was a magnificent history of an unknown race and a special coordinate.
A long time ago, in a universe far far away from Earth, a species of goat-like beings, the Lyrias, developed intelligence through evolution. Quite like us Humans, their early history was suffused with wars, disordered competitions, ignorant and naïve, but advanced technologies and knowledge were boosted rapidly as a result. When the ancestors of Human beings are still chasing hyenas on the plains of Africa, or encircling mammoths on the frozen glacier, the Lyrias had invented spaceships traveling as fast as the light. Having exhausted all the energy and mystery of their mother planet Cublitan, they cast their attention to the ocean of stars. After 1 million years of sociological development, they formed various nomadic clans, scattering around the universe. One of these ethnic groups called themselves the Atreides.
When the clan of Atreides was moving from one planet to another, they detected a strange and mysterious signal. Unlike any signal they had ever received, this signal appeared to be older than the universe, prior to the Big Bang. They could not wait to follow the source of the signal which led them to an unknown solar system. They named it the Orig. They did not find the origin of the signal immediately, so they started to explore the Orig. Orig has a massive blackhole in its center. There are five detectable planets in Orig. The nearest planet to the blackhole is a red giant star that was captured by the gravity of the blackhole. Scientists estimated that it would turn into a Supernova and explode in 2 million years. Among other oddities about Orig, all 5 planets have a common moon in a quantum state of superposition. This "Quantum Moon" will vanish if not observed and will appear randomly near another planet in the blink of an eye. They managed to send a sensor onto the moon. Surprisingly, they found that despite the location inside this solar system, the moon will have ⅙ possibility to appear outside of Orig within a radius of half a lightyear. After further research, they deduced that the "Quantum Moon" orbits a sixth star, the Eye of the Universe, which they believe is the source of the signal. Like its moon, the Eye of the Universe also has superpositions, so the position of the Eye of the Universe is changing all the time. Only close observation can make its position fixed. However, this is nearly impossible in such a huge volume of space.
Later a coincidence threw light on the problem again. One of Lyrias' probes was sucked into the blackhole by accident and later found again near a whitehole outside Orig. The log of the ship indicated that the spacecraft stepped out the whitehole one in a million second earlier than entering the blackhole. Although the time reversal seems negligible and useless, scientists of the Lyrias believed that by injecting considerable energy into the blackhole, this difference can be increased.
If they could make the blackhole send things long enough back in time (more than the probe to travel twice the radius, which is 1 year), they could endlessly send out the same probe to find the position of the Eye of the Universe in every direction simultaneously. This same probe could be reused mission by mission and when it eventually located the Eye of the Universe, it would leave a sensor to constantly monitor the Eye and the probe will come back to report the exact location. Theoretically, this process would take no time, which means that the Lyrias would be able to attain the result immediately after they gave the blackhole enough energy. They named this project "Kuafu". This was an incredible plan and the Atreides were eager to find an appropriate energy source.
Very soon, the Lyrias detected that there was a comet entering Orig. As it got closer, they picked up readings of huge amount of energy coming off. They sent a drone to study the comet. When the drone drilled through the crust of the comet, the Lyrias realized that the energy came from antimatter. However, they were too late, as soon as the antimatter is exposed to the outside world, it triggers a catastrophic explosion that wipes out all lives in Orig instantaneously. The clan of Atreides came to extinction so fast that they had not reported their findings to other Lyrias. Fortunately, the probe for the project was awaiting near the whitehole outside Orig, therefore survived from the explosion.
Two million years later, the red giant star of Orig naturally turned into a Supernavo and exploded. The explosion infused tremendous amount of energy into the blackhole, and the probe of Lyrias was waked upa from sleep. The project Kuafu resumed as planned though there were no Atreides. After countless iterations, the probe successfully find the location of the Eye, but it could not return to its creator. It floated and wandered in space for another 3000 years before it was captured by humans.
The information contained in the chips is far beyond human beings' imagination. From the high energy physics to quantum technology, from the structure of the galaxy to the Interstellar traveling technology, the information in the chip is an encyclopedia, which gives humans a lot of inspiration and knowledge.
Understanding the information in the chip becomes the most popular subject of mankind. As a result, human science and technology have advanced by leaps and bounds during these sixty years by replicating the products from Lyrias. All of the humans are enjoying increased living quality, but there is a hole in everyone's heart.
What is there in the Eye of the Universe?
This question has haunted mankind since day one. With the unremitting efforts of scientists and the tips in the chip, scientists finally master controllable nuclear fusion technology and the ability to build sub-light speed engines using the materials on the earth. The Eye seems no longer out of reach.
Global Conference of scientists
After the production of the sub-lightspeed spacecraft, the most elite scientists immediately begin to design the new "Kuafu" project, including calculating the optimal route and energy consumption. Today is the presentation date of the plan and all global scientists gather here to finally confirm the plan.
As the PowerPoint displayed one by one, the blueprint of the plan was clearly shown in front of the public. Repeated and well-calculated results give the scientists full confidence to get to the location of the Eye. The PowerPoint ends on a black page where only a vague light can be seen in the middle, just like the Eye, mysterious and romantic.
-This is all about our new "Kuafu" plan.
Warm applause came from the conference room. All of them applauded for what they had been pursuing - the truth.
The applause was interrupted by the voice of the project leader.
-There is one more problem remained. According to our calculations, with our current technology, it needs to exhaust all the energy of the whole ocean as fuel towards the position of that coordinate. If we still chose to go, we may need to migrate to another planet to survive.
Silence fills the conference room, and the hot eyes dimmed one after another. Although there is only a short distance from the goal, no scientist can determine the future of the whole race.
-We may need to vote.
Just today, everyone received an invitation from the global association of scientists on their phones. The invitation describes every aspect of project Kuafu restarted by mankind. All people have the authority to vote and decide the future of the plan and human beings.
The final result is surprising but reasonable. The rate of the agreed to the disagreed is 48.3:47.5, which means humans has decided to make way to the project.
Taking the baton from the Lyrias, it is the human's turn to explore.
After the ocean energy runs out, the earth is no longer suitable for humans. Most of us migrate to Mars.
Relevant personnel to the mission stay on Earth. Among them are the strictly selected pioneers who are willing to take on the journey. They are the best engineers, scientists and astronauts. With roar of the engine, the crew input the coordinate of the Eye and sail to Universe until becoming unseeable among the stars.
At the same time. Humans also transmit this coordinate through electromagnetic waves and send out the signals to the universe.
Just like a spark to gather intelligent civilizations, the wave will propagate in all corners of the universe. Wait for the next race to find it and take on the mission.
Hawking Radiation is a kind of thermal radiation in principle caused by relativistic quantum effect. Theoretically, it will be released outside a black hole's event horizon. It is also considered as the reason for black hole evaporation since it decreases the mass and rotation energy of the black hole. Until now, humans have not detected it.
Gravitational waves are ripples of space which are produced by accelerated masses. They travel at the speed of light from their source towards outside. Gravitational waves squeeze and stretch the space on their passing ways. This property is used for designing the detector for gravitational wave.
LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) is an instrument for detecting gravitational waves. Its working principle is to detect the space squeezing and stretching caused by gravitational waves. Two arms of LIGO have equal length initially. However, when the gravitational waves passed by, the length of the arms will have slight change. This tiny change could be detected by LIGO using laser.
 Trapped ion quantum computer:
Ions or so called charged atomic particles could be confined by the electromagnetic fields. The trapped ion quantum computer makes use of trapped ion to store the quantum states. Quantum information could be transmitted by the quantized motion of trapped ions.
Quantum memory is the quantum version of the classical computer memory. It stores quantum states for later use. The quantum states could be in superposition states. For light quantum memory, the information is encoded by both the amplitude and phase of the light. The storage of quantum information requires that light will be stored without measurement. Light used for quantum storage records the state of light in atomic cloud. The encoded quantum information could be retrieved when those atoms absorb light.
Blackhole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing - no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light - can escape from it. Blackholes are normally rotating. It has a few properties.
For a rotating black hole:
There are two event
outer event horizon = point of no return,
inner event horizon contains a region where time becomes cyclic.
l The singularity is not a point, but a ring-shaped region.
Outside the outer horizon
there is a region called the ergosphere, where the black hole drags
space and everything in it.
A "whirlpool" for space.
l The photons orbiting around the black hole move in a stranger way, with 2 photon spheres.
Supernova is a powerful and luminous stellar explosion. This transient astronomical event occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star or when a white dwarf is triggered into runaway nuclear fusion. The original object, called the progenitor, either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or is completely destroyed.
In general relativity, a whitehole is a theoretical region of spacetime and singularity that cannot be entered from the outside, although energy-matter, light and information can escape from it. In this sense, it is the reverse of a black hole. Note that modern science has not proven the existence of whiteholes.
Liu Suying & Liu Yuchen
May 6th, 2022